God has forsaken me and He wouldn’t, would He?

Today I had a conversation with X. X is not doing well, on the contrary. Life is really hard sometimes, and how do you deal with it? X is at the end of her life.

X had another HUGE problem though, where was God during this time? Someone had once given her this text containing a promise from God:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Where was that God right now?! Didn’t he promise that he has great plans for me in that verse?! Well, so far for that God with His promises, I’m about to die and I can’t see a thing. I can no longer believe in that God.

And you know… if you read the text like that, she is right. (full stop) But there is something about that text… something very beautiful, but also something very false if you interpret it wrongly… So, we started by explaining that text, and we started with the question: who is that text for? Why was it ever written? And here it comes:

Jeremiah spoke these words to Jews who had lived under the rule of the Egyptian and then Babylonian empires before they were finally taken into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

That text was not for you and me… that text can NOT be used generically for you and me, on the contrary. This is said very specifically to a very specific group of people.

This is about Israel’s disobedience and God’s punishment. Chapter 29 is written to the exiles in Babylon, who were there for disobedience (see chapters 25 and 27). The promises in chapter 29 are for restoration from judgment and understanding that discipline will bring obedience (vs. 12-13).

Now that we know who it was for, let’s take another look at that text and what happened to those people it was intended for.

Those people came back to the land that God had promised them, the temple was rebuilt, God fulfilled His promise.

When God promises something, He does. And if we look at Jeremiah 29:11 and who it was for, God fulfilled that promise 100%. (full stop)

But now, for X… what does God promise for X? What does God promise you today?

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:8-11

If you believe that Christ died for you, a new life awaits you in heaven. A life without pain, without sorrow,

who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Philippians 3:21

And those verses are meant for you and me. And when God promises something, He does it.

Good night X, see you soon.

And the lesson for all of us? We can all read the Bible, but please: study the thing and do more than just read. What was the context of Jeremiah 29:11? Was that verse universally applicable to everyone? No. Only when we read the Bible in context do we get closer to God. If we don’t and take verses out of context… we (and anyone else we give those verses to) run a HUGE risk of losing God… forever… be warned.

How many times do we see that verse of Jeremiah 29:11 misinterpreted? About twice a week… resulting in a huge amount of misery. Because of the misinterpretation of this verse, people are going to hell every day. But if you do explain this verse in context, it is such a beautiful verse… in and in sad every time we see this verse pulled out of context….

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